The Odisha government has decided to put in place houseboats, water-sports recreation projects in over 100 ecotourism destinations to increase the visitors’ footfall and boost up the tourism economy in the post-pandemic period.
State’s Chief Secretary Suresh Chandra Mahapatra who presided over a high level meeting on digital mode on Friday directed the departments of Forest & Environment, Water Resources and Tourism to identify around 100 spots through joint verification for the launch of the boating recreation facilities. The departments were asked to finalize the list in a month and were directed to initiate steps for the setting up of the floating jetties and boats by December of the current year.
Odisha has around 118 small, big dams, reservoirs including the major dams with scenic and picturesque locations in Hirakud, Mandira, Patora, Deras, Hadgarh, Pitamahal, Jumuka, Indrabati, Kolab, Kunaria, Sarafgarh, Godhahada, Kanjhari and Sarbgarh etc.
Similarly, the State is bestowed with the natural lakes like Chilika, Ansupa, Pata, Kanjia, Hiarkud. There are around ten major river basins in Mahanadi, Bramhani, Baitarani, Rusikulya, Bansadhara, Nagabali, Kolab, Indravati, Subranarekha and Budhabalanga river systems. Besides, there are many river confluences among these rivers and their tributaries. These places offer plenty of options for boating recreation activities.
“The locations should be identified on the basis of the objective criteria of their competitiveness for being popularized in the tourism market, and offering exotic and exhilarating experiences to the tourists. Proper choice of the location and their popularization will attract private investment to the sector soon, and that will catapult State’s eco-tourism to next higher level”, chief secretary Mahapatra said.
“Proper choice of the location and their popularization will attract private investment to the sector soon, and that will take the State’s eco-tourism to next higher level”, he said.
Chief Secretary Mahapatra issuing directions to put in place proper safety measures in boats and boating spots sought for the adoption of community management model with appropriate training and orientation to the local community, Vana Surakhya Samiti (VSS) and Women Self Help Groups (WSHGs) for operation and management of the facilities.